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Arizona Coyotes hold on for 4-3 victory over Vancouver Canucks

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Radim Vrbata scored his 20th goal of the season while Louis Domingue completed his late season resurgence with another win.

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Arizona Coyotes Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

With their 30th win of the season, the Arizona Coyotes will finish the night in 28th place in the NHL, leap-frogging their opponents tonight, the Vancouver Canucks.

In what was ultimately a game with not much to play for, both the Coyotes and Canucks did their best to make it as entertaining as possible with the teams combining for 7 goals between them in what was a largely free flowing and open game.

While it appeared Arizona was destined for an easy win after starting the third period up 4 goals to 1, the Coyotes allowed the Canucks back into the game by giving up the next 2 goals which ensured an entertaining ending.

Arizona bent but they did not break, holding on for a 4-3 win over their Pacific Division opponents.

Scoring Summary

First Period

1-0 Arizona - In the second last game of the season, Luke Schenn down low hits home his first goal of the season and his first as a Coyote, capitalizing on the great work of Shane Doan and Christian Dvorak getting the puck to the front of the goal crease. Assists to Brendan Perlini and Dvorak at 6:00.

1-1 Tie - Henrik Sedin makes a beautiful one handed pass from behind the net to his twin Daniel, who then chips a pass laterally across the crease to Nikolay Goldobin. There, Goldobin is able to chip the puck in past Louis Domingue on his glove side. Assists to the Sedin twins at 7:51.

Second Period

2-1 Arizona - Jakob Chychrun blows a slap shot wide which Ryan Miller partially blocks before it bounces off the end boards. From the bounce, it ends up on the other side of the goal on Radim Vrbata’s stick. Vrbata whacks at the puck as it hits Alexander Edler right in front of the wide open net before caroming in. Assists to Chychrun and Anthony DeAngelo at 0:55.

3-1 Arizona - In 7 seconds, Arizona score one of the smoothest power play goals I’ve ever seen the Yotes score. Winning the face off back to Anthony DeAngelo on the left side of the zone, the Coyotes work the puck across the wide right side where Alex Goligoski winds up a slap shot. But instead of shooting on net as everyone expects him to, Goligoski passes diagonally wide back to the left side where Alexander Burmistrov taps the puck in next to the left goal post. Assists to Goligoski and Max Domi at 9:40.

4-1 Arizona - Max Domi intercepts the puck preventing the Canucks from clearing the zone on their penalty kill allowing Radim Vrbata to shoot on net past a defender. Ryan Miller made the initial save, however the puck dribbled out behind him before rolling in. The goal was his 20th of the season which means Vrbata now has scored 20+ goals in 6 of his NHL seasons, 5 of those seasons being with the Coyotes. Assist to Domi at 16:11.

Third Period

4-2 Arizona - On a Vancouver power play, both teams fight and scramble for control of the puck in front of the net before it is kicked out wide to Louis Domingue’s right side. There it is collected by Brock Boeser who quickly snaps the puck in over Domingue’s glove. Assists to Henrik Sedin and Brandon Sutter at 1:47.

Penalty shot - At 6:03, Max Domi attempted his first career penalty shot after being hooked on a breakaway. Domi beat Ryan Miller on his attempt but unfortunately his shot hit the cross bar and bounced clear. Score still 4-2 Arizona.

4-3 Arizona - From the bottom of the left face-off circle, Henrik Sedin feeds the puck right to the “wheel-house” of his twin Daniel Sedin at the top of the face-off circle who then unloads a ripper of a shot past Louis Domingue. Assist to Henrik Sedin at 12:40.

Three Answers

  1. Can the Coyotes make a leap in the standings? - Arizona won and made the jump over Vancouver, but the Canucks still have a game in hand so the Coyotes may still finish the season below them in the standings come the end of the regular season.
  2. Will the Duclair Renaissance persist? - Sadly Anthony Duclair was held scoreless for the night, however he still had his chances to make an impact and continued to look very comfortable playing alongside Max Domi and Alexander Burmistrov.
  3. Will Shane Doan take the ice? - Yes, it was confirmed prior to the game that Shane Doan would return to the lineup against the Canucks.

Players of the Game

Vancouver - Henrik Sedin - Finished the night with an assist on each of Vancouver’s 3 goals and led the charge for the Canucks.

Arizona - Radim Vrbata - Scored 2 goals against his former side, including the game winner.

Paw Prints

  • For more on the Vancouver Canucks check out Nucks Misconduct.
  • Scratches for the Coyotes tonight included Clayton Keller, Zbynek Michalek, Teemu Pulkkinen and Peter Holland. Oliver Ekman-Larsson also remained out tending to personal matters.
  • Louis Domingue got the start tonight against the Canucks, in what Dave Vest declared is his last game of the season. This means Mike Smith is locked in to start against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night.
  • 4 different rookies recorded a point on Arizona’s first 2 goals of the night.
  • Despite OEL’s absence tonight, loyal and caring Arizona fans showed their love and support for one of the Coyotes’ favorite sons:
  • Attendance: 11,959.

Looking Ahead

Arizona host fan appreciation night and play their final game of the 2016-17 season on Saturday night. With the Minnesota Wild the final opponent for Arizona, the game will also serve as a homecoming game for former Coyotes Martin Hanzal and Ryan White. Puck drop is at 6:00pm Arizona time and can be viewed on Fox Sports Arizona Plus or tuned into on ESPN Phoenix 620 AM.